Last week’s virtual event was hosted one year after TikTok for Business first launched, meaning there was a wealth of learnings to digest and explore. The hosts and speakers at the event featured TikTok’s EU leaders, who aimed to inspire creativity and bring joy, and help advertisers to learn how to drive big, brand-safe results and reach TikTok’s unique, diverse audiences.

TikTok and the music industry

One of the major focuses during the Download event was on the success of music on TikTok, and how music successfully elevates TikTok content. TikTok’s Artist Partnerships Manager, Toyin Mustapha hosted a must-watch session with artist and TikTok creator, Charli XCX.

With 80% of respondents in TikTok’s latest study saying that TikTok was their number one place for music discovery, Charli spoke to Toyin about her journey on the app and Toyin shared insights on how TikTok is changing the music industry to support new and developing artists.

Speaking on what makes TikTok special, Charli said: “What’s really interesting and cool about TikTok is that it puts all of its users on the same level. Everybody has as much cultural cache and value as each other as we’re all just being real. I feel that I can be extremely real with my fans on TikTok, we’re all just the same people, part of the same community with our own in-jokes. It encourages very real interactions.

Themes from the English stage

Five different virtual stages provided localised content across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Over on the English speaking stage, sessions were hosted discussing currently trending themes such as travel content on TikTok, how retailers can utilise the app, and how the automotive industry can use TikTok to thrive.

  • TikTok for Travel
    Travel and holidays have been very few and far between since the beginning of the pandemic, but we’re now beginning to see a glimpse of normality again, meaning it’s time to ramp up travel content on TikTok. Two sessions were hosted on the topic of travel – ‘You’ve now entered #TravelTok’ and ‘Hey travel brands… Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks!’.

    Travel brands such as RyanAir, Visit Scotland, and Virgin Atlantic are already using TikTok to produce entertaining, yet promotional content – making TikToks, not ads. TikTok’s UK Brand Lead for travel content, Hannah Bennett, spoke with Strategy Director at TikTok’s Creative Lab, Pip Dunjay, about how travel brands are using the app creatively to create an impact as well as to entertain, advising attendees about the tools that the app offers to elevate your brands content.
  • TikTok for retailers
    Traditional marketing may no longer be enough in order to shape consumers’ purchasing habits and for retailers to boost product sales, however, TikTok could well be the place to give you that extra push.

    Chris Boyle and Alessandra Mariani from the brand sales and partnerships team at TikTok gave attendees an introduction on everything retailers should consider when marketing their brand or their products, with user generated content and hashtag trends providing the key to making consumers say “I bought it because I saw it on TikTok”.
  • Entering auto TikTok
    There really is a TikTok community out there for absolutely everything – food, fashion, comedy – however the focus at the download event was on the world of automotive. The hashtag #Car/s has 70.2 billion views on TikTok (and counting).With that in mind, TikTok’s UK Automotive Brand Partnerships Lead, Jack Carter, and Brand Strategy Lead – DACH, Jack Fruttiger took to the stage to discuss how automotive companies and TikTok creators can successfully work together to produce stellar ad campaigns.

    Alongside TikTok’s Senior Creative at its Creative Lab, Joshua Brown, Jack Carter also spoke to attendees about how huge automotive brands such as BMW, Kia, AutoTrader, Smart, Volkswagen have taken to TikTok to produce creative campaigns. The hosts discussed how adaptations, bespoke productions and creator-led creative processes can be put in place in order to make TikTok the perfect place to launch a successful automotive campaign.

Creators are your creative directors

An overriding theme that arose during the event is that content creators can be your creative directors, as discussed by TikTok’s Head of Creator Solutions, Europe, Julien Wettstein, content creator Sherice Banton, and CEO and Co-Founder of Influencer Ltd, Ben Jeffries.

So many brands are yet to explore TikTok and the tools the app has to offer when planning their marketing strategies, but the nature of the app means that creators who are experienced with the tools and how to engage an audience are ready-made creative directors.

The event provided attendees with plenty to think about, discuss, and plan with their teams, using TikTok as a platform to market, grow, and succeed.

Julien Wettstein said: “Our Community is at the heart of everything that we do at TikTok. In Europe, over 100M  users come to TikTok every single day to share their true authentic selves and spread creativity and joy. Creators understand our platform better than anyone else and are the best starting point for brands to succeed on the platform. TikTok is a content-first platform and anyone on TikTok has the power to get discovered or build an audience, you don’t need to have a huge fanbase on TikTok to go viral, just great content – the same applies for brands.

Our advice to brands is to trust in the power of creators and put them at the center of campaigns. Involving creators in early stages, from conceptualisation to the final delivery helps the campaign blend into the TikTok environment. For brands who are looking for the right creators, we offer an innovative solution – The Creator Marketplace, a platform for brands to connect with creators.”

We expect to see a continuation of business offerings and advice sessions from the team at TikTok, as TikTok for Business is still in its infancy and continues to grow and present opportunities for creators and brands alike.

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